Archive for October, 2008

3 Options

Someone once told me there are 3 ways you can live your life:
You can either waste it, sell it to the highest bidder, or give it away.

My college experience so far has taught me more than I could have ever imagined it would coming into college. I’ve been shaped by my major, history, and am probably scarred for life because all I want to do in other classes is place stuff in historical context. But as most people who go through college will probably tell you, you learn more outside the classroom than you do inside. That has definitely held true for me and I have had great difficulty reconciling the fact that I can’t have those outside the classroom experiences without actually being enrolled in the school.

I know I’m not the only student who feels this way and I hate to whine about classes (oh yes poor me having to suffer the pains of higher education) because college doesn’t last forever. But I’ll let it be known that I am not a very good academic student, nor do I have any desire to be a very good one, I do not find fulfillment in good grades or even acquiring a lot of knowledge. So what am I doing at college? I’m not quite sure.

I wish I could say its because I am passionate about history, although I do like it very much, but I don’t think any academic subject would motivate me. I’m partially here because like it or not a degree gives you power in this world and opens doors. I came to MW because it was the next logical step for people my age. I didn’t want to go to vocational school and I didn’t know what else I wanted to do, so college it is!

My question is, is it alright to not be academically minded in college?

Again, maybe I am being whiny, but it has been a nagging question rolling around the back of my head for sometime. There is no doubt in my mind that I love learning and being enrolled in classes means I have a responsibility to do my work in those classes, but again the nagging question.

The good side to all of this is, I am beginning to understand what things in life fill me up, and I am going after those things with a fire I do not have for academic studies. I believe in order to live life fully you have to be giving it away and through giving we find we are filled back up. I can’t find that in the study of academics like some people can.

I think I am willing to be a mediocre grade student if it means in the grander scheme of things I am living my life well. Hopefully by stating this for myself (and the whole world to see) I can stop concerning myself with the stupid nagging question and just liveĀ  it out. Freedom_Tunnel_10 originally uploaded by Pro-Zak

Lifting My Head

Last school year, hyped up on new ideas and excitement, I took on my sophomore year with a new found fervor for learning. I spent plenty of time learning about subjects that interested me, often forgetting to do the work for classes I was enrolled in. Clearly the consequences of such a route are obvious and I was left with the bitter taste of failure.

Now it is junior year, another year to try again, another year to find balance.

This may be the year I learn a little bit of discipline when it comes to my studies. As it turns out you have to abide by some rules of the game to stay in it. Armed with this new found duh-knowledge, I’m in search of balancing work and play. In an odd way I’m curious to see what will come of learning to schedule myself and finishing work in a timely manner. This may sound strange but, it is something I’ve never had to do up until this point in my life, so I feel a little behind the curve.

But now that I’ve had my head down in the books for the first 5 weeks of class, I can finally take a moment to pick up my head. But like a student who has stared at a book for too long, my eyesight has yet to adjust to seeing farther distances. While I have been reflecting on course material and the seemingly myriad of connections between many classes (gotta love those serendipitous moments) I haven’t reflected much on a broader view of education.

If “education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living”*, why is it so easy to forget in college? I need not state the obvious answers, but I think something is deeply wrong with a system that separates education and living in the real world. And if students and employers complain that colleges haven’t prepared students for the real world, what has all this education prepared them for?

More thoughts as my brain gets back into the swing of this blog thing again : )

*Awesome quotage cred goes to John Dewey


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